Alligator snapping turtle study: is it endangered?
NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says federal protection may be needed for alligator snapping turtles: hard-biting, spike-shelled reptiles that can reach 200 pounds.
They're among 10 reptiles and amphibians the service says need further study to decide whether they merit classification as endangered or threatened.
Others include the green salamander, a tree-climbing amphibian once found in 13 Appalachian states from Indiana to Pennsylvania and Alabama, and the spotted turtle, once found in 21 states across the East Coast and west to Illinois.
A news release Tuesday said another five species won't be listed.
They're among dozens that the Center for Biological Diversity asked the service to protect in 2012.
Center spokeswoman Tierra Curry said Wednesday that they're still waiting to hear about 26 of those species.